A couple times now I’ve toyed with writing a review for Sicario, a favourite amongst cinema-goers. Recently I saw that a trailer for a sequel had been released and this reminded of the heap of praise and commercial success that it received. Only I couldn’t care much for it. I watched Sicario after reading the buzz about it and, following the hive’s mentality that it must be good, was left underwhelmed.
As a change from the usual, I’ll begin with a rough retelling of what I remember. Emily Blunt plays a drugs enforcement officer and joins a new team of hot headed, veteran agents. She participates in a frontline drug raid and next, witnesses the torturing of those who are captured into giving up the location of the cartel leaders and investigates the tunnels where the smuggling occurs.
Whilst there’s more to it and a spoiler if I reveal the end, the rest had me drifting asleep like I had taken Xanax, a drug that this film should be busting. I’m sure it will appeal to an audience who enjoy the shoot ‘em up style it delivers and doubly so for those interested in war on drugs films. However, for me there are no standout moments and for all out action, John Wick (2014) blows it out of the water and back across the Mexican border.
In contrast, Sicario goes for a more refined approach incorporating diplomatic drama and atmosphere building. It does manage this through the quality from both the production and acting performances but there is no getting around the fact this slows the film massively without adding much. As a prime example, the film starts with a dictionary definition on a black screen which at no point becomes relevant and for Spanish audiences must be entirely redundant. To finish on this point, this film is mediocre: of only ordinary or moderate quality.